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IBM and 9 Universities collaborate on training 'Big Data' skills

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Big data is currently the fastest growing category on jobs, hence IBM is hoping to help create the next generation of "big data" specialists through a series of partnerships with universities around the world, as well as influence the curriculum.

In order to start off with the project, nine new agreements have been announced on Wednesday.

The agreement involves Universities like Georgetown University, George Washington University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University of Missouri and Northwestern University in the U.S. IBM are also beginning big data programs at Dublin City University, Mother Teresa Women's University in India, the National University of Singapore, and the Philippines' Commission on Higher Education.

It also has a variety of programs, including a master of science degree in the business analytics track at George Washington University; an undergraduate course titled "Big Data Analytics" at the University of Missouri; and a center for business analytics at the National University of Singapore.

What is Big Data?
Big data refers to the massive amounts of structured and unstructured data being continuously generated by websites, social media, sensors, smart devices and other sources.

A wide range of software, hardware and consulting companies have been bringing products and services to market that they say customers can use to derive valuable business insights from such information.

IBM & 9Varsities to train on data skills

In its announcement, IBM cited U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics that found there will be a 24 percent rise in demand for people with "data analytics skills" over the next eight years.

Big data is also the fastest-growing job category on tech jobs boards. There are some 1,500 job listings in the area on the site daily, a 127 percent rise compared to a year ago.

Such programs have clear benefits for both sides, with potentially cash-strapped schools getting access to technology and other resources while IBM helps seed the market for future big data consultants, data scientists and developers that knows its technology.

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